Liverpool have turned their attention toward German midfielder Marco Reus for their dual assault on the Premier League and Champions League crowns but the Merseyside club could well be wasting their time.
Reports suggest the Anfield outfit, who are priced at 9/1 to better their second-place finish in the Premier League last year, are preparing a £44m bid for the Borussia Dortmund forward.
Reus, 25, had his heart set on a dream move to the Nou Camp but has had his hopes dashed after Barcelona agreed a fee with the Reds for controversial Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.
The Dortmund star has already spurned Manchester United’s advances with a view to turning out for the Catalan giants but it is the Red Devils’ initial interest that could ultimately scupper Liverpool’s hopes.
New United manager Louis van Gaal has been linked with a number of attacking players including Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria and PSG’s Edinson Cavani but the Dutchman could now return with a bid for Reus following the cooling of Barcelona’s interest.
Liverpool may feel they have the edge over their long-time rivals with the Reds able to offer Champions League football next term.
However, there is a growing feeling that United’s exodus from Europe’s premier competition will be short-lived, with the Old Trafford club considerably shorter than Liverpool to win the title at 5/1.
And with the Merseysiders looking more likely than Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City to make way in the top four, Reus could opt for one season away from the Champions League for better opportunities in the future.
Liverpool are said to be on the brink of completing a deal for Serbian prospect Lazar Markovic and have also been linked with Swansea’s Wilfried Bony and unwanted Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku – Reus, though, looks beyond Brendan Rodgers’ reach.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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